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Former US AG Gonzales hires counsel as ethics probes continue

[JURIST] Former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] has hired an attorney as the DOJ and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) continue their investigations [JURIST report] into allegations that Gonzales may have perjured himself [JURIST report] before Congress. Gonzales hired former DOJ second-in-command George Terwilliger [firm profile] of the Washington, D.C. firm White & Case to represent him. The investigations are ongoing and have not resulted in any charges against Gonzales at this time.

In a letter [PDF text] dated August 16, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked [JURIST report; press release] the DOJ inspector general to investigate potentially misleading or dishonest testimony given by Gonzales in hearings before the committee regarding the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] and the Justice Department's handling of the firings of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive]. The DOJ and OPR investigations [JURIST report] are also looking into an alleged March meeting between former US DOJ aide Monica Goodling and Gonzales in which Gonzales supposedly "recounted to [Goodling] his recollections of the process leading up to and including" the controversial US Attorney firings. If the conversation occurred as alleged, it may constitute witness tampering, as Goodling was, at the time of the conversation, scheduled to testify before Congress on the attorney firings. Gonzales formally left office [JURIST report] on September 15. AP has more.

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